Learning Sessions (Block A)

Learning Sessions Block A – Tuesday, June 27


A-1. Engaging Trauma Thrivers through Trauma-Informed Practice – Cindy Carraway-Wilson, MA, CYC-P, Trainer for Youth Catalytics [Maine]

According to national studies, between 40 to 55% of young people in the U.S. will have experienced a traumatic situation before they reach their 18th birthday. We also know that significantly more Americans live in situations exposing them to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), bullying, or are living in severely under-resourced communities. Science emphasizes that we can move through these traumatic experiences and become “trauma thrivers.”

Trauma-informed practices (TIPs) can be implemented by everyone in a young person’s life to ensure that the young person is able to engage in healthy relationships, effectively learn, and experience healthy development. During our workshop, we will explore a variety of TIPs and how we might implement them in our programs, schools, neighborhoods, and communities.

As a result of attending this workshop, participants will:

  1. Explore and deepen their understanding of several trauma-informed practices.
  2. Create a plan to adjust their behavior or environment to incorporate at least one trauma-informed practice.
  3. Consider how trauma-informed practice can be used to maintain their personal health and work-life balance.

A-2. Strong Parents, Strong Kids: How Parent Engagement Enhances Youth Development – Pious Ali, Youth and Community Engagement Specialist for University of Southern Maine’s Muskie School of Public Services [Maine]

 In this session, Youth Engagement Specialist and Portland School Board Member Pious Ali will discuss how parent engagement and community partnerships help empower students to take an active role in their education. Students and families speak over sixty languages in Portland’s school system, and some parents face challenges in engaging with teachers and administrators to follow their child’s educational development. Pious will share how Portland Empowered builds relationships between parents and the school district through community conversations and will explain how the program’s Parent Manifesto invites Portland Public Schools to engage its community members.

As a result of attending this workshop, participants will learn strategies for facilitating parent and family engagement with teachers, administrators and school districts to ensure student and parent voices are heard in education decision-making.

A-3. It Takes a Village: The Impact of ACEs and Resilience – Sue Mackey Andrews, BS, Co-Founder/Co-Facilitator of the Maine Resilience Building Network [Maine]

This interactive workshop will provide a basic introduction to the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Study, its relevance and application to children, youth, families and communities throughout Maine, and introduce strategies and opportunities for participants to further integrate this information into their daily lives through RESILIENCE promotion. We will also spend some time talking about how ACEs affect us personally, the people with whom we work, and how we can take good care of ourselves and others around us.

As a result of attending this workshop, participants will:

  1.  Be introduced to the Adverse Childhood Experiences study within the context of increasing knowledge around the neuro-physiology of trauma and resilience.
  2. Increase their awareness of non-invasive language to frame and respond to adverse childhood effects with clients.
  3.  Discuss considerations in the conversations about ACEs within integrated care settings.
  4.  Increase knowledge, language and practice skills on how to implement resilience building strategies, approaches, and relationship-building into practice.

A-4. S.A.F.E.: A Framework for Developing Social and Emotional Competencies in Youth – Joann Avant, Youth Development and Social Responsibility, YMCA of the USA [Illinois]

The YMCA of the USA adopted the evidence-based practice called the S.A.F.E. Framework for out-of-school time programs, as we move towards making an impact on closing the achievement gap and building social and emotional competencies in youth. S.A.F.E. focuses on increased skill building in youth, and high quality engagement and program delivery by staff. Following the presentation, participants will engage in an interactive team activity to practice using the framework and tools.

As a result of attending this workshop, participants will gain an understanding of how to use the S.A.F.E. Framework to increase student and staff engagement in OST programs; with a focus on staff development, skill building in youth, and increased social and emotional development.

A-5. Challenging Behavior? What is really going on? – Marnie Morneault, Research Associate, Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies [Maine]

All professionals who provide quality inclusive child care strive to understand what children are telling them through their behavior.  Is your toolkit prepped to help you support a child who is “behaving” in a way that we don’t expect? This interactive workshop is designed to help people who are working with children with challenging behaviors by bridging the gap between research and practice.

Participants will learn what is happening in a child’s brain when they are in situations of challenging behavior as well as how executive functioning skills play a critical role. This workshop introduces you to information and skills drawn from neuroscience and social-emotional skills research. By understanding the underlying cause of behavior we can better support children.

A-6. Exploring Our Roots: Culturally Relevant Approaches to Youth Engagement

Anna Nelson, MS
Executive Director of the New Mexico Forum for Youth in Community
[New Mexico]

Now is a transformative time in our nation’s growth, where our demographic composition is rapidly transitioning to a majority of communities, families, and young people of color. The Positive Youth Development movement is prime for integrating innovative, culturally-relevant strategies for engaging young people and supporting their development of cultural resilience, identity, and capital. In this interactive workshop, participants will deepen their knowledge of culturally-responsive PYD, an approach that empowers young people intellectually, socially, emotionally, and politically by integrating points of cultural reference into all activities.  We will also explore the practice of cultural humility, a cross-disciplinary framework for engagement that creates safe and engaging space for young people to explore their sense of self-definition. After completing this dynamic Learning Session, participant will:

Be familiar with the intersections between positive youth development principles and strategies for exploring cultural identities as sources for strength
and resilience for youth.

Learn the 5 essential competencies for cultural resilience and their relationship to core 21st Century competencies for success in adulthood.

Understand the 3 key elements of Cultural Humility and how to apply them as caring adults in the lives of youth.